As the date for the Kora All-Africa Music Awards draws closer some Namibian artists shared their excitement about the show.
The nominated artists believe the event, to be hosted for the first time in Namibia, will be a platform where they will experience growth as well as establish new collaborations with international artists.
Eight Namibian artists, plus the Acapella group VMSIX, were nominated in different categories, including Namibian male artist of the year 2014 and 2015 in the Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) – Gazza.
Gazza, who is nominated in the Best Male Artists-Southern Africa catagory, says the event reflects the growth and maturity of his music.
“I am very happy for being able to compete with big names such as Aka from South Africa and Petersen from Zambia,” said Gazza, adding that sometimes they only heard of those names as big artists in Africa, but now they have an opportunity to compete with them on the same platform.
Erna Chimu, who won the 2014 Female Artist of the Year in the NAMAs and was nominated in the category of Best Traditional Music Artist-Female in Kora, says she is very excited to be one of the nominees and looks forward to the big day.
“I feel privileged that my music is recognised internationally and this will make me work harder. I am also willing to learn from different artists afterthe event,” says Erna.
Dj K-Boz, the producer of the Namibian songstress Sally, who is nominated in the category of Best Urban Music, says Sally looks forward to the awards and sees theshow as an opportunity to take her music career further.
“Sally is also planning to do some collaboration with different artists after the event. Win or not, Sally wants other Namibian artists who have been nominated to scoop the awards and put Namibia on the map,” says K-Boz.
The awards ceremony will take place at the Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino on March 20. Winners from every category will go home with the coveted Kora award and a cash prize of US$20 000 to US$50 000.
Besides the various regional categories for male and female performers, other continent-wide categories allow for a diverse mix of artists to go head to head against one another. These include categories for Spiritual and Traditional music.
In the Best Album of the Year category Ugandan artist Bebe Cool is up against West Africans Suzana Lebrano (Cape Verde) and Tinariwen (Mali), The Soil (South Africa) and Ees (Namibia) from Southern Africa, and Cameroonian rapper Jovi, representing Central Africa.